Ankara torment Towers

London Towers 61 PTT Ankara 72
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The Independent Online
Exide London Towers ran themselves ragged at Wembley Court last night, instead of the opposition. The Turkish club PTT Ankara outplayed them in the second period to beat the Budweiser League champions 72-61 in their third group game in the preliminary round of the European Cup.

Towers, after winning one of their previous two games, both away, never clicked on their home debut in this six-team group from which four qualify for the knock-out stage. London can still go through but need of some organisation in their play.

Ironically their last telling strike was a three-pointer from Karl Brown, a shot critically missing from London's armoury throughout the game. The Turks hit six from long range.

London were eight down at the half and suddenly trailed by 15 points before regaining their stride and it was three minutes into the second half before the American Danny Lewis scored his first points of the game.

They showed that Sunday's 40-point canter against the bottom club in the Budweiser League was no preparation for facing hard-nosed opponents. Ankara refused to panic when London came back from 46-31 down early in the second half to trail just 50-46.

The Turks stalled the offence, delayed shooting to use up the clock and when Alper Yilmaz scored a three-pointer, falling away as the 33rd buzzer sounded, they led 60-50 and had sealed victory.

Brown's return ahead of schedule from a broken ankle is a bonus for coach Kevin Cadle. Within four minutes the former Leopard was in the game, but his extra pace alongside that of Danny Lewis had no quick impact. Ankara's captain, the former international Tung Girgin, nailed seven early points, including a "three" and with two more long range efforts from Scolat Pinar, the Turks led 19-12.

A three-point play put Brown on the score sheet but London's offence, which paled further as Ankara brought their big men into the game. Mirko Milecevic, their 6ft 10in Yugoslav, and the 6ft 9in American Ricky Winslow shared 10 points as Ankara switched from long range to close range to open a 27-17 lead after 15 minutes and Towers trailed 37-29 at the break.

LEADING SCORERS: London Towers Cunningham 16 Austin 15 Hooks 11. Ankara Winslow 18 Girgin 16 Pinar 12.